Saturday, December 29, 2007

Creative party invitations on the rise

These days the world of kids parties has completely gone an overhaul and unless you have some really unique kids party invitations, your party is not complete. Specialization in party planners has been happening for a long time, but with the boost given by the internet, these invitations are taking on a whole new meaning. The more creative you get, the more successful the party is likely to be, as well as more memorable of course. So put on your thinking caps, the next time you're planning a party.

Reliance Retail to become supplier

After continuing to face protests against Reliance Fresh, Reliance Retail is becoming a trader and will be entering the food trading sector so that it can restructure its food and grocery business. Reliance Retail has already created 2 supply chains; one to trade commodities at mandis and a second to supply merchandise to its own Reliance Fresh outlets. Food prices will be increasing significantly in the coming year, and Reliance has understood the importance of being a trader. Reliance is setting up its stores at mandis where it will stock fruits, vegetables as well as other staples. At these stores it will be able to make a profit without worrying about costly overheads or having to give discounts to consumers. The company already has signed agreements to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to Spencers’ retail chain as well as other retailers.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The trend for men's jewelry

As most Christmas shopping excursions go, the average consumer does not really look for men's jewelry as much as they look at women's jewelry, but the trend for men's jewelry is fast catching on and is definitely only going to get bigger and better. Thanks to the countless celebrity magazines who spend so much time of showcasing the grooming and jewelry of the fashionable male, this segment is getting a lot of publicity lately.

Retailers should focus on existing online customers

Online commerce already is one of fastest growing segments of the Indian retail industry, regardless of the fact that there is still very low penetration of personal computers in the country. At a seminar at the Retail Summit 2007 in Hyderabad, Online retailing - Future of Retailing, Manish Agarwal, vice-president for e-commerce at, lay emphasis on retailers needing to focus on existing ecustomers, instead of solely focusing on creating new ones. Online retailing is the way to create a new channel that retailers can sell products, one that lets them broaden their reach to newer places where their branches are not yet open.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Getting professional help

You can't pick up any magazine these days without reading out celebrities' addiction treatment and the more that celebrities are being open about their personal problems, the more the effect is trickling down to the average person, for who it is likely to be a more profound decision. Most trends to have a trickle down effect and this is definitely one of them that is gaining more popularity with each passing month.

Have you ever abandonded a blog?

So how many blogs do you really have? And how many blogs do you maintain regularly? I must say that I have been a bit laggard in maintaining all of my blogs equally. While I have not abandoned any of my blogs, some of them do get more attention than others. I think it's time do some winter cleaning. I wonder if something like this were to happen to me?

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Researching before buying

When it comes to buying technical or mechanical stuff, I make sure I read up on as much information first and only then attempt going out to buy something like this Delta machinery, so I know exactly what I am looking for and don't end up making a fool of myself. Having the internet to search for stuff makes it a lot easier than having to go to the library or dig out a reference book, so buying complicated stuff has become so much easier now. I will admit that it has made us a bit lazier about doing the work and putting in the effort to search though.

Future Group's Home Retail expanding aggresively

Home Solutions Retail Ltd (HSRL) which is owned by the Future Group, announced that it will be investing Rs. 500 crore for both of its consumer durables and electronics retail segments. The proposed investment will be over the duration of the next two years.Its eZone outlets will increase from 26 to 100 stores, and Electronics Bazaar will increase from 65 to 200 stores. Hemchandra Javeri, chief executive officer of HSRL, emphasized that both segments were expected to bring in revenues of Rs 800 crore by 2007-08 and Rs 3,000 crore by 2009-10. He said that, “By expanding both the value and premium formats, we want to explore the total opportunity. We want to dominate big cities and tier-II towns and stay ahead of competition.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Visiting Las Vegas?

For a short break, there really is no place like Las Vegas. A lot of people think of the city only for gambling and quickie marriages, but Las Vegas is so much more than that. The city has created a name for itself in the world of spa treatments and luxury pampering, but if you want to have an affordable vacation, that is also possible in the city. You can find the entire range of hotels in Las Vegas, from discount motels to top of the line luxury hotels, all it takes is a little searching to find the right place.

Reliance TimeOut opens in Bangalore

Reliance Retail Ltd. launched the book and music specialty store it had earlier announced which will be called Reliance TimeOut, and will stock music, books, stationary, toys and assorted gift items. Reliance TimeOut stores will stock more than 30,000 book titles from both national and international publishers, and over 12,000 music titles. Its is located in Bangalore's Cunningham Road and is spread over 21,000 sq ft of space, with a stock of more than 56,000 items.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do you really know how to 'live'?

For a lot of people, working overtime, commuting endlessly and living a stressed life is the normal way to earn a living. Most people don;t have a choice and have to live where based on where they work. There are an increasing number of people lately that are deciding to make do with lower paying jobs, less stress and live in smaller towns so that they can really 'live'. Wilmington NC real estate has seen a rise in interested consumers who want to live a good life, but not one where they are chasing money and deadlines all the time. There has to be a balance in one's lives, and living in a medium sized town is one way to achieve it.

Targus keen on India

Targus, the mobile computing products and accessories firm will be focusing on growin gin the Indian market, and will be forming a partnership with I consumer electronic companies like Croma, Staples and Bharti-Wal-Mart. The company has been running in India for the past 3 years, and its India operations accounts for $12 million of its annual revenue. An estimated 85% of its annual revenue comes from supply of products to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) such as Lenovo, HP, Sony, HCL and Acer and the remaining amount from retail sales.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A worthy cause

I guess, this is really the best time of the year to write about something like this. If you're one of those people to love to hear about miracles and other wonderful stories, then you'll love this. There is a non-profit organization called Car Angel, which facilitates car donations for those in need, whether they are coming out of rehab, or are a single mom, or a homeless person trying to live and work. Car Angel uses its car and other donations to make videos for children and have given away more than 2.4 million videos so far. It is definitely a very worthy cause and writing about it just before Christmas is perfect timing as well. Here's one of the videos that Car Angel has made:

Reliance to convert its shut Fresh stores into specialty formats

Reliance Retail will be using its shut Reliance Fresh stores in West Bengal as specialty stores for lines such as footwear, jewelry, books and apparel. Reliance had to shut down its Fresh stores after voracious protests by local merchants and middle men who were organized by various political parties. The low prices that Reliance Fresh offered for its products were the main reason for the protests.

Reliance Retail has had trouble with the publicity it received right from the beginning, even though there are lots of other retailers present, it is only Reliance Fresh stores that are facing the brunt of the protests. There are lots of other launches planned for the state and it remains to be seen if they will face similar protests when they open as well.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A great gift item

While malls are coming up with creative offers to bring in customers, stores such as Cartier don't need to do much at all. With an amazing Cartier watch such as this, customers are willing to spend as much money as required to get an elite product such as this. Christmas shoppers are looking for both splurges as well as price conscious gifts this year. With the bulk of the population wary about spending too much on non-essential items, the higher spenders are the ones who are going in for such items. Watches are a great gift item as they beautifully bridge the utilitarian and the luxurious so easily.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Malls becoming inventive at wooing customers

Malls in India are coming up with new ways of bringing in customers to the malls, most of which are not doing well. By offering specials such as taxis and buses to bring in customers, adding more stores that offer utility functions such as banks, dry cleaners, gyms etc, coming up with a plan to make the mall a morning walk and breakfast destinations and offering mall loyalty programs are all ways that mall managers are wooing customers. All in all, these special offers do make customers come to the mall more often, especially with the utility shops and grocery stores, and once they visit more often, they will tend to shop more.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Investing in real estate

When it comes to investments for the long term, there really is only one choice and that is real estate. It is the one investment that you should start thinking of and putting aside money for as soon as you get a regular job, so that in maybe 5 years you have a substantial amount to put as a down payment towards a plot or apartment or office etc. While stocks and bonds need to be followed more closely when you're holding them, real estate is for those who have holding power and can stay in the game for the long term. We're making our first major investment in an apartment, purely for investment purposes, and we're excited about the prospect of starting our real estate investments.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More on team buying

In an earlier post titled Team buying for higher discounts, I had written about a popular Japanese concept called Team Buying and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Eliot Sykes in the US who has started StoreMob which will run pretty much along the same lines. Team buying is a practice where consumers form groups to increase their bargaining power. Groups of customers gather at predetermined locations to purchase products which they can "mob" the store into giving them a discount. StoreMob will have the honor of introducing the system to US consumers who will be able to get bulk discounts on products.